CBPR+ message structure

Before we dive deep into the examples of CBPR+ messages, it is vital to understand the CBPR+ message structure.

This is the topic of this section.

We are going to begin with the high-level diagram which I prepared based on a similar one published in CBPR+ UHB.

Please find below the picture presenting the generic CBPR+ message structure.


CBPR+ message structure


CBPR+ Message Structure 1

Based on: CBPR+ User Hnadbook, Q4 2022 Edition, p.12 SWIFT FINplus Message structure


As you can see there are two main parts of the CRBR+ message. The first is related to the technical aspect of the message and the second refers to the business information. In the picture, we can see that point (1) depicts the Request Header and point (2) refers to the business message. Generally, we will focus our analysis on point (2) that is on the business message. However, I thought that it might be useful to provide some key information on the (1) Request Header as well.


Request Header


Request Header is also known as Technical Header. What is this header about?

The CBPR+ messages are exchanged over SWIFT via FINplus service.

FINplus is built on another SWIFT service – InterAct service.

This information may not be necessarily crucial to everybody, because it is quite technical, however, it explains the source of the Request Header. Request Header is simply the header used in InterAct service, and as FINplus is built on InterAct, it also uses this header.

The most important aspect of this header is the fact that banks are not identified here by Business Identifiers Codes (BICs), but by so-called Distinguished Names (DN). This is not as complicated as it may sound, though, as there is a very straightforward way to map the BIC to DN. 

In CBPR+ live environment 3 layer DN is used. As I said it is mapped from BIC in a simple way. As we know BIC11 composes of BIC8 and a 3-character Branch identifier. If there is no Branch identifier we put ‘XXX’ at the end of BIC8 to get BIC11.

Here is the way DN is formatted:

 ou=live branch or xxx,o=live bic8,o=swift


What is also important, there is a specific terminology used in Request Header:

Sender of the message is called Requestor

Receiver of the message is called Responder


So, let’s bring all the above information together.


If we have Bank A identified with BIC BANKFRAAXXX sending the CBPR+ message to Bank B identified with BIC BANKDEBBXXX these two actors will be identified in the Request Header in the following way:

Bank A will be Requestor identified with the following DN: ou=XXX,o=BANKFRAA,o=swift

Bank B will be Responder identified with the following DN: ou=XXX,o=BANKDEBB,o=swift 


I would like to stress here one more thing. You may have noticed that the description for DN refers to the Live BIC8, which is not only valid for the live environment. Also for test environments banks are identified with DN based on their live BIC8.

If so, we may ask, how are the test messages identified? 

The different environments are identified in the Request Header not by DNs but based on Service name element.

For example, for live environment Service name element will be populated with swift.finplus but for the pilot current environment Service name element will be populated with swift.finplus!pc.

This is how SWIFT distinguishes whether a particular message is a live or test message.

In Request Header there is also an indication of what business message is included inside. For this, the RequestType element is used.

In other words, RequestType element identifies the name of the ISO 20022 message processed. For example, for pacs.009.001.08 the value of the RequestType element will be … precisely pacs.009.001.08.


I have provided here only the most important elements of RequestHeader.

More details about FINplus, InterAct and RequestHeader can be found in SWIFT documentation.


Now, let’s focus on point (2) from the above diagram, which is the business message.


Business Message


The business part of the message is also called Message Payload.

As we have seen in the diagram above it consists of two main elements: Business Application Header (BAH) and ISO Message Instance

Let’s investigate how the Business Message will look if we zoom in a little.

This is the picture we get:

Business Message


In the above diagram, we can already see some XML elements that form the generic structure of the Business Message.

One thing that I need to highlight here is that Business Application Header is a mandatory element in all CBPR+ messages.

On the other hand, the Message Instance structure depends on the message type used.

The above structure is presented with an example of pacs.009. This message apart from Group Header comprises Credit Transfer Transaction Information. The same general structure has pacs.008. However, this is not always the case. We are going to encounter messages that apart from Group Header have different blocks. Some messages (like camt.029 or camt.056) do not even have a Group Header element.


Let’s try now to dive even deeper into the message structure.

First, we are going to focus on the BAH.


Business Application Header


In this part, I am going to describe the BAH.

The elements marked with this symbol:

Red dot

 – are mandatory.


Please find below the most important elements of BAH (head.001).




Apart from the elements that are described above, there are additional two in BAH that I would like to mention now:

  • Related – this element allows capturing the BAH from the related message. We are going to describe this element while talking about Payment Return, where it will be used to point to the BAH from the original message.
  • Copy Duplicate – as this element is associated with reporting messages, I will describe it while investigating camt messages.




Now it’s time for the Message Instance.

I would like to present the structure of this second part of the business message based on the pacs.009 example.

As other messages have different structures, it will not be a comprehensive description.

Nevertheless, I think that the below description may still be helpful, especially in the context of other pacs messages that share many characteristics. 

As we have seen, even pacs.009 comprises two main parts: 

  • Group Header

  • Credit Transfer Transaction Information

Let’s start with the description of the Group Header.


  • Group Header

Please find below the most important elements of Group Header. 


Group Header


And now we move to the second part of pacs.009.


  • Credit Transfer Transaction Information

Below are presented the most important elements of Credit Transfer Transaction Information.

This part is the largest one, so I have split the description into smaller pieces.


To begin with, there is an element Payment Identification <PmtId>, where a set of elements is provided to identify a payment.

To know more about point-to-point vs. end-to-end references please refer to this section of my website where there is more information provided.


Payment Identification


Now, let’s a have look at Payment Type Information <PmtTpInf> element.


Payment Type Information


After that we have several elements related to settlement:




The following part is related to the (Previous) Instructing and Instructed Agents:


Instructing Instructed Agents


If there is a business need for an Intermediary between Debtor Agent and Creditor Agent the following elements are used:


Intermediary Agent 1


Then several elements on debit side are populated:




The similar elements are available on Creditor side:




And the message finishes with a few elements containing additional information:


Additional information


I hope the above presentation of the CBPR+ message structure will be useful.


Additional information


At the end, I would like to just turn your attention to the fact that for several elements many options may be used. 

This is only to show how rich the ISO 20022 standard is.

The below examples present briefly how two basic elements (an account and a party) may be identified in the message.


  • An account

Here are the options to identify the Debtor Account in the Usage Guidelines for pacs.009:




As we can see on the left, an account may be identified by IBAN or by another identification.

Also, some additional information like Type or Currency may be added.

Additionally, Type can be populated as Code or Proprietary information.

What is important to highlight here is the fact that if we want to populate Type of the account with the Code the documentation directs us to the ExternalCashAccountType1Code.

We can see this in the picture above on the right.

But, where can we find codes that are allowed as ExternalCashAccountType1Code?

For that, we have to go to the ISO 20022 website. 

There is a dedicated list available on the ISO 20022 website that consists of external codes. It is called External code sets and is available here.

When you search for the ExternalCashAccountType1Code in this file you will find that the following codes may be used:


Account codes


If you need to determine Type but the External code sets list does not contain the code which fulfills your needs, you can use Proprietary format to forward this information.


  • A party

Similarly to an account, a party in the payment message may be identified by several elements.

Here are possible identification elements for Debtor Agent:


Party Identification


Although there are many possibilities, as we can see BIC remains the most popular and recommended option for cross-border scenarios. 

There is also an interesting identifier called LEI. If you want to know more about it you can visit the dedicated article on my website about LEI.